Three-try blitz se­cures win

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

They did it the hard way, but the Pon­sonby Fil­lies are still un­de­feated af­ter four rounds.

Pon­sonby’s 19-15 win over Ard­more Marist sets up an in­tense grudge match against Col­lege Ri­fles this Satur­day.

Col­lege Ri­fles have the brag­ging rights af­ter their victory when the two met in the semi­fi­nal last year.

Fil­lies coach Michael Mau’u knows that qual­ity is al­ways some­thing that comes out of this match up.

‘‘We’re very sim­i­lar in our strengths. We have dom­i­nant for­ward packs and both are car­ry­ing Kiwi Ferns within our teams.

‘‘One of the things about women’s rugby is the smaller pool of play­ers – ev­ery­one knows each other.

‘‘They’re friends off the field but it’s all com­pe­ti­tion when it comes down to game time,’’ Mau’u says.

Pon­sonby was fly­ing in the face of ad­ver­sity be­fore their game had even kicked off against Marist Ard­more on May 16.

An ad­min­is­tra­tive er­ror saw a half-hour de­lay due to the ini­tial ab­sence of a ref­eree at Bruce Pulman Park.

‘‘I think it did im­pact on the team,’’ Mau’u says. ‘‘ We got off to a slow start. Ev­ery­thing for us is time-scripted.’’

That start was com­pounded by the Fil­lies star­ing at a 15-0 deficit with 20 min­utes to go.

The game then turned dramatically.

Left wing Natahlia Deb­no­rah Moors took mat­ters into her own hands with two quick tries and cen­tre Ma­rina Apfel also dot­ting down for a five-pointer.

Full­back Annabel Sar­gent’s two con­ver­sions en­sured Pon­sonby would steal the match and leave Bruce Pulman Park with their record in­tact.

Pho­tos: PHOTOTEK

Pon­sonby’s Natahlia Deb­no­rah Moors runs into Ard­more’s Te Kura Aerenga-Mate.

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